Photo Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo/Master Sgt. Culeen Shaffer
After President Donald Trump held a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — a meeting that was by most accounts a dismal failure of strategy— he made a bold declaration that was surprising, even for him.
“Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office,” he said in a tweet. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. Meeting with Kim Jong Un was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential for the future!”
No credible experts on North Korea actually made this claim, and few Americans except the most diehard Trump supporters were likely to believe it. Even if, implausibly, U.S.-North Korea relations are entirely friendly for the foreseeable future, the threat that its nuclear weapons could be mismanaged, stolen, or seized by dangerous groups would remain.
But on Friday, the White House released a declaration — signed by Trump — revealing that his outlandish claim was a complete lie.
The declaration continues a state of emergency with regard to North Korea that was declared by the last two presidents. And this declaration specifically cites North Korea’s nuclear weapons as the reason for the emergency and as a direct threat to United States national security.
“The existence and risk of proliferation of weapons-usable fissile material on the Korean Peninsula and the actions and policies of the Government of North Korea continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” the declaration says. “Therefore… I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to North Korea declared in Executive Order 13466.”